Monday, January 31, 2011

T-1: The Last Supper

The Beverly Hills Hotel
Dad and I drive around LA. Beverly Hills is beautiful and the weather is perfect despite the rest of the country suffering under unprecedented cold and snow. We blow $12 for tea and coffee at the Polo Lounge in the Beverly Hills Hotel. (We had shed our rented Toyota up the street as you really shouldn’t pull in to the Beverly Hills Hotel in anything less than a Mercedes S-Class). The deep blue skies and palm trees make me decide to move to California after I’m done with China.

We meet Dr. Berke and his clinical assistant Dr. Jennifer Long in the afternoon. I have a lot of questions, and am still weighing whether to do unilateral or bilateral. I eventually decide on bilateral. The recovery is a bit more difficult, but I only want to do this once.

Dad, me and Craig at my "Last Supper"
Dad, Craig and I go out to dinner for my “last supper.” We’re at Palomino’s just down the street from Tiverton. Nice restaurant. We have a small celebration of my dad’s 80th birthday which I missed the week before. I have a glass of wine because Dr. Berke said it would be okay, and maybe it will help me get a better night’s sleep.

Craig (who is unmarried) tries asking the pretty waitress out on a date by leaving her a note on the bill. He never hears from her.

I’m looking forward to the next time I’m in a nice restaurant, speaking loudly and drinking wine. I guess it’ll be a while…

Sunday, January 30, 2011

T-2: Jetlagged and Anxious

Craig and I go to LAX to pick up my dad who turned 80 last week. He looks and acts like he’s younger than me and flew out to help me through the operation. My wife and kids are staying in China. We have lunch at a nice hotel on the beach in Santa Monica. Jetlag and anxiety about the operation are preventing me from getting a good night’s sleep.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

T-3: Arriving in LA

I landed in LA after a 10 hour flight from Shanghai. I’m from New York, but moved to Shanghai 15 months ago. It’s nice to be back in the USA, and nice to be in California, but I’m filled with anxiety about the operation. I try to check-in at Tiverton House at 10am, but they tell me to come back at 3pm. I go have breakfast at Denny’s down the street, then call my childhood friend Craig who lives in LA and we go hang out at the Getty Museum, which is beautiful.

Here is a sample of my pre-op voice from about a week earlier. My spasmodic dysphonia varied quite a bit and this was on a “bad voice day” with minimal effort on my part to avoid the spasms.